FTX, the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange, has taken legal action to recover luxury property and alleged “fraudulently transferred and misappropriated funds” from the parents of its former CEO and founder, Sam Bankman-Fried. In a lawsuit filed in a U.S. District Court in Delaware, FTX’s lawyers claim that Allan Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried exploited their access and influence within the FTX enterprise to enrich themselves by millions of dollars.
The lawsuit alleges that Bankman and Fried discussed with their son the transfer of a $10 million cash gift and a $16.4 million luxury property in The Bahamas despite being aware of the FTX Group’s financial troubles. It also accuses Sam’s father of participating in efforts to cover up a whistleblower complaint that could have exposed FTX as unstable.
The filing reveals emails from Bankman complaining about his annual salary and lobbying his son to “massively increase his own salary.” Within weeks, Bankman-Fried allegedly gifted his parents $10 million in funds from Alameda, and within three months, they received the $16.4 million property in The Bahamas.
Furthermore, the lawsuit claims that Bankman-Fried’s parents pushed for tens of millions of dollars in political and charitable contributions, potentially violating federal campaign finance disclosure rules.
Bankman-Fried himself faces wire and securities fraud charges related to the alleged FTX fraud, described by prosecutors as “one of the biggest financial frauds in American history.” His criminal trial is set to begin on October 3 in Manhattan.
FTX’s lawsuit seeks compensatory relief, punitive damages, and the return of property or payments made to Bankman and Fried. However, it remains unclear how these clawbacks might impact the couple’s ability to pay for their son’s legal fees.
Bankman and Fried’s legal counsel responded to the lawsuit, calling it a “dangerous attempt to intimidate” their clients and labelling the claims as “completely false.” The legal battle continues as FTX’s new leadership team works to recover billions of dollars in missing assets belonging to the exchange.